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Backpacker Magazine – June 2009

Gear Review: Optimus Crux Lite Stove

The Optimus Crux Lite is meant for backcountry foodies who need precise cooking control.

by: Casey Lyons

Optimus Crux Lite (BP Photo Dept.)
Optimus Crux Lite (BP Photo Dept.)

Canned Heat
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Best for Gourmets
The Crux Lite is a superlight simmer king that's spec'd out for the hiker-foodie. Its huge burner (at almost two inches across, it's the biggest of the bunch) delivers enough heat to crank out a quick boil, yet it delicately–and evenly–sautés onions. The lime-green wire flame adjuster is easy to see and grab, and it delivers precise heat control. The stove's three-inch overall height (the shortest tested) means pots have a low and stable center of gravity. But cold-weather performance is lackluster. "It didn't bring my water to a full boil in 20°F temps," said a tester in Massachusetts. Durability was also an issue. We dropped all of the stoves in water, and only this one suffered real damage: It developed swivel-inhibiting rust in the pot-support joints.


Criteria less than 6 ounces; less than $65
Test numbers 120 meals cooked; 50 gallons of water boiled; temps 0° to 70°F; winds up to 60 mph
Ratings scale 5 = Perfect gear, 1 = Save your money (Overall rating is not an average of other scores.)

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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Jugular
Dec 28, 2012

This is an amazing stove. Efficient as anything I've ever used and boils water in minutes. Honestly clocked boiling water in 2 minutes at 10,000 foot elevation. Works for me. I've been on 3 trips total of 14 nights on one 8oz can of fuel. Coffee, warm breakfast lunch and dinner, ya. I even had my buddy forget his stove and carry an extra can of fuel on the last 5 nighter and we didn't even have to use it. Stove is small, light, and it works great. Keep it dry because I know the folding pot supports can rust.

mac
Sep 18, 2012

havent used in really trying conditions, very cold or high alt, yet but am pleased with the flame control (first test in field was pizza with son - box oven, stacked pots). Worked like a champ but had to adjust flame halfway through. Very pleased as I came from alcohol stoves.

mac
Sep 18, 2012

havent used in really trying conditions, very cold or high alt, yet but am pleased with the flame control (first test in field was pizza with son - box oven, stacked pots). Worked like a champ but had to adjust flame halfway through. Very pleased as I came from alcohol stoves.

Nick
May 31, 2012

Yeah I just bought the whole crux lite cooking kit. Very well priced, good quality and great performance. The pans/pots are small, but in a back-country situation, for only one person it's amazing. The flame control is awesome and despite common misconceptions with canister stoves, this one has boiled me water at 12,000 feet! Great stove, buy one!

marty ylitalo
Apr 26, 2012

you actually had some control with the valve? my crux lite has to be full blast or it will go out... always. i am envious.

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